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Parkinson is a neurodegenerative disease whose causes are still unknown. The main symptoms motorically occur through tremors, weakness or slowness in movements. But we can associate to them also sleeping disorders, depression or, in the most severe cases, cognitive deterioration.

 

The Dynseo team is very involved in helping people with Parkinson’s disease. That’s why we have developed several applications which can be used for motor and cognitive stimulation of a person with Parkinson’s disease.

 

Did you know it? In Italy, there are about 6,000 cases of Parkinson every year.

THE ROLLING BALL, THE DYNSEO’S PROPOSAL

 

The Rolling Ball is an application which allows to stimulate fine motor skills, bimanual coordination, the modulation of muscle tone and the muscle control at the hands and arms level.With 6 games already available, the person has to use the tablet as a pendulum support and, therefore, the person has to incline the tablet to move the ball on the screen. The Rolling Ball supports you everywhere because the app does not need Wi-Fi to work (Wi-Fi required only for updates).

 

Nowadays The Rolling Ball follows people with Parkinson’s disease thanks to physiotherapists or occupational therapists in clinics or thanks to their home care. You will also find game statistics inside the app and they allow you to see the evolution and the improvement of the people with Parkinson’s to personalize their treatment.

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FORMS OF PARKINSON

 

Working with people with Parkinson’s is possible with activities adapted to their needs. Parkinson is a neurodegenerative disease which causes motor difficulties, but with a targeted stimulation it is possible to rehabilitate the person and the deterioration associated to the disease can be delayed. The motor disorders are often asymmetric, that is, in just one part of the body and they can affect different body areas (legs, arms, hands…). These disorders can appear in different moments of the day and with a different duration and intensity.

 

The type of activity depends, therefore, on the current disorder and on the disease severity. The Rolling Ball can be used with all the people affected by Parkinson’s and it can be adapted to each situation.

Stage 1

At this stage, the first symptoms of the disease begin to appear: slowness in movements, rigidity and tremors. These symptoms don’t necessarily affect people’s daily life.

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Wind Resistance

 

Keep the ball in the central area of the screen while facing the wind.

 

Thanks to this game, you can stimulate the movement control in different forms.

 

The wind can come from left or from right: the person has to adapt the tablet’s inclination to the wind’s direction which is indicated by the white lines. The appearance of the wind is aleatory and it involves a continuous adaptation of the movement.

In addition, the wind is not continuous, so the person has to understand the difference between the rest position (keep the stability) and the action position (modulation of muscle tone) to resist wind.
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Chase the circles

 

Make the ball roll through the circles.

 

With this game, you stimulate fine motor skills as well as visual capabilities.

At first, the person has to use his or her visual scanning to identify the circle’s position and the visual-spatial ability to imagine the trajectory that the ball has to do to reach the circle.

 

Then, the person has to use the bimanual capabilities to incline the tablet and to move the ball. It is important to coordinate both hands because an unbalanced inclination can give an inaccurate direction.

 

Finally, once you reach the circle, another circle appears and the excercise resumes. You stimulate, therefore, the modulation of muscle tone because the ball must change direction quickly and so the tablet’s inclination must be adapted.

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Stage 2

 

This stage is called “honeymoon” because the symptoms are milder, almost inexistent, as if there was a regression of the disease. However, this stage is temporary and the symptoms will appear. You can take advantage of this stage in order to continue to stimulate the motricity and to learn to better control the movements in the future.

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Follow the line

 

Follow the line with the ball.

 

In this game, you can select straight lines (from left to right and vice versa, from the top down and vice versa or even diagonally) or a mixted route where there will be all the directions.

Thanks to this game, you stimulate the visual perception because the person has to identify all the route of the line and the position of the ball.

 

You also stimulate the movement control and the regulation of muscle tone because the ball not only has to reach a final goal, but it has also to exactly follow the path traced. The adaptation of the movement is, therefore, fundamental.

 

The adaptation is not only in the direction, but also in the speed to give to the ball. In the straight segments, the person can incline more the tablet and give a more important speed, but approaching to the change of direction, the person has to reduce the speed to better manage the movement.

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Face the current

 

 

Score as many goals as possible, all while going upstream.

 

Thanks to this game, you can stimulate several cognitive function.

At first, you stimulate the visual-spatial ability because the person has to imagine the trajectory that the balloon must do to reach the net without hitting the obtacles.

 

To move the balloon, you stimulate the bimanual skills, but also the muscle tone because in the water there is the current (represented by the white lines) which rejects the balloon. The “power” to put in the inclination of the tablet must be proportional to the force of the current.

 

The presence of the current makes the game useful in a situation of bradykinesia because if the person fails to quickly adapt the inclination and the power, the balloon will be blown back.

 

Finally, you stimulate the attention because the person has to concentrate on the trajectory to reach the net, on the obstacles and on the force of the current at the same time.

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Stage 3

 

In this stage, there is a reappearance of the symptoms which may occur through a slowdown of the movement or the presence of involuntary movements. In this stage, there is a “motor fluctuation”, so the symptoms can alternate and appear at different times of day.

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Stay in the circle

 

Keep the ball inside the circle while it is moving.

 

This game is very useful at this stage because it can be used regardless of the symptoms.

If the person has slowness in the movement, he or she will fail to chase the circle. So the person will have to find a strategy to make the movement more effective and then quicker.

 

If the person makes involuntary movements, he or she will make the ball come out from the circle. So the person will have to get to control these movements and to find a strategy to quickly find the balance. This stimulation is still effective if the person has tremors.

 

In addition, the circle changes direction in a random way, so you also stimulate the attention and the reflexes.

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Keep it at the center

 

Keep the ball at the center of the screen.

 

In the middle of the screen there is a black spot, consequently if the ball moves, the person will have a reference point to find the correct position. You can, therefore, work on the use of the feedback to modify the movement.

This game is very useful in case of involuntary movements or tremors because the goal is to keep the tablet stable and so to try to limit the movements.

 

Although the goal is to keep the tablet stable, the hands will make small movements anyway. So you stimulate the modulation and the regulation of muscle tone.

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SO THE ROLLING BALL IS A SUPER SUPPORT FOR PEOPLE WITH PARKINSON’S

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FOLLOW THE LINE

 You can choose several trajectories which you have to follow with the ball.

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KEEP IT AT THE CENTER

The goal is to keep the ball at the center of the screen for a limited time.

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STAY IN THE CIRCLE

Keep the ball inside the circle as long as possible.

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CHASE THE CIRCLES

Make the ball roll through the circles that appear on the screen.

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WIND RESISTANCE

The goal is to keep the ball in the central area of the screen.

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GO BACK UPSTREAM

Score as many goals as possible and avoid the obstacle in your way.

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Stage 4

In this stage, the neuro-degeneration extends in other areas of the brain causing new symptoms such as the cognitive disorders. Among cognitive disorders, we can have visual perception disorders or organization’s disorders or even a slowdown of thinking.

You can keep using the app The Rolling Ball for the symptoms related to motricity, but you can also use the app Scarlett to stimulate cognitive functions.

SCARLETT, THE BRAIN COACH

Dynseo has developed Scarlett to help health professionals or private individuals in the stimulation of cognitive functions. With more than 30 easy and adapted games, Scarlett can be used in each situation thanks to 3 different levels of difficulty which allow you to personalize the activity.

Scarlett can be used with people affected by Parkinson’s when there are cognitive disorders. Some games can also be used to work on disorders related to motricity which are typical of Parkinson.

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Slowing of thinking

 

In Parkinson’s, the slowness occurs not only at the level of motricity, but it can also affect the thinking. To improve this function, you can do activities which stimulate the neuronal activation, that is, activities which transmit different stimulus and which require a quick response of the brain.

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ColorForm

 

Find the shape or color according to the model.

This game demands a quick research to find the correct shape or color. The person has to use his or her visual skills to identify the features of each object, then the eye-hand coordination to click on the right answer.

In easy level, you can stimulate the response time because the request remains fixed (for example, you always have to search for the color). The person can, therefore, concentrate only on the activity and work on the activation of the response.

 

In the medium and difficult levels, you can stimulate the rapidity in changing the mental patterns. In these levels, the goal can change at every round (10 rounds per match). So the person has to pay attention to the request, for example if he or she has to search for the color, he or she has to activate the concept of “color”, but if then the person has to search for the shape, he or she has to inhibit the concept of “color” and activate the concept of “shape”.

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Hunting Intruders

 

Find the intruder between the words.

The person has to read four suggestions and search for the connection between three of them to find the intruder.

Reading the words proposed, the person has to access to his or her semantic memory quickly to give a meaning to the words.

Then, the person has to make different logical associations between words to find the connection.

In addition, once the person has found the common point, he or she still has to analyze the fourth word to make sure that it does not fall within the same category as the others.

The thinking is therefore stimulated in different forms and you also stimulate the speed of information processing in order to find and remember all information.

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Visual skills

 

In Parkinson’s, the person can have difficulties in visual perception. He or she can also have disorders of the axis of the body which prevent the person from having a correct perception of himself or herself in space. The two disorders can be connected and generate difficulties of orientation because the person is unable to perceive his or her movement in space and she or he can’t neither find external reference points.

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Crazy Waterfall

 

Find the differences between the proposed symbol combination and the model.

Thanks to this game, you stimulate different visual skills.

At first, you stimulate visual perception because the person has to analyze the symbols which are presented in order to find the differences. The symbols do not have precise meanings so the person must analyze them carefully to do the activity.

In this way, you stimulate visual perception and analysis of new objects and it is essential to navigate new places.

You also stimulate the saccade, thas is the rapid eye movement from one stimulus to another. This movement is essential for a correct visual perception and to have reference points.

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Scarlett at a ski retreat

 

Help Scarlett find her way back to her cabin.

Thanks to this game, you stimulate visual perception because the person has to find Scarlett, the cabin and the obstacles on the map.

In addition, you stimulate the creation of mental images bacause the person has to imagine the trajectory of each movement in order to find the right direction.

 

You also stimulate planning to find the quicker course.

 

Find a course or create mental images of places and movement stimulate the orientation skills.

 

Finally, you stimulate the fine motor skills because the person has to click on the right indicator to move Scarlett.

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Organization

 

At this more severe stage of Parkinson’s, we can see organizational difficulties. This disorder can be affected by slow thinking and slow movement. So the person is unable to coordinate his or her thought and his or her actions which become disorganized. Organizational difficulties may also occur in the organization of an activity or personal affairs.

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Congested Parking

 

Move the cars to get the yellow car out of the parking.

Thanks to this game, you can stimulate different skills which are necessary for a correct organization.

The person has to use his or her visual perception skills to analyze the cars’position, their size and the space they have to move. Then, the person has to create mental images to imagine possible cars’movements and their consequences.

In addition, you stimulate logic and planning to solve this game and find the right sequence to get the yellow car out.

Finally, to move the cars, the person has to slide his or her finger on the screen, so you stimulate fine motor skills.

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Granny Cooks

 

Memorize the steps or the ingredients in the recipes which are proposed.

Thanks to this game, you can stimulate the organization of an activity and this is essential to keep autonomy.

In the first step, the game shows the recipe and the person has to memorize the ingredients. You can stimulate the sequentiality in the mode “recipe” (remember the steps) or verbal and visual memory in the mode “ingredients” (remember the ingredients).

Then, you stimulate the attention: this cognitive function allows to stay focused from the beginning to the end of the activity and to successfully perform all steps.

Finally, you can use the game to find out and memorize a recipe and then you can try to prepare it for real. In this way, you can integrate the stimulation of motricity (cut the vegetables, mix the ingredients…).

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Movement

 

The main symptoms of Parkinson’s remain those related to motricity. Scarlett allows to stimulate these skills through several games. It is possible to use the app Scarlett in order to stimulate only fine motor skills.

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Noah’s Ark

 

Slide the animal pairs into the arch.

The use of animals makes the image recognition easy and it allows to use this game in the presence of visual disorders.

At first, you stimulate visual scanning because the person has to look at all the animals on the screen.  Then, you work on the association skills to find the animal pairs.

 

Once found the animal pairs, the person must use hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills to select the correct animal and drag it to the arch.

 

You can ask to pick up the first animal with one finger and the second animal with another finger. So you can stimulate fine motor skills (using only the index finger first, then the middle finger for example) or bimanual skills (using only the left hand first, then the right one).

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Bouncing Ball

 

Touch the ball when it appears on the screen. You must touch the ball 10 times to end the match.

In this game, you have to use the finger mobility, but also other cognitive functions.

The ball appears every time in a different part of the screen, so you stimulate attention in order to understand when the ball appears and the visual scanning to find the exact place where it has appeared.

You also stimulate the hand-eye coordination to touch the ball. The ball is always moving, so the precision of the touch is fundamental.

You can stimulate the fine motor skills asking the person to touch the ball with a different finger or to alternate between right and left hand.

This game can be used in situations in which there is a disorder of the axis.You can ask the person to put the tablet in front of him or her and to touch with right hand the balls which appear in the right part of the screen and with left hand the balls which appeat in the left part of the screen. In this way, you stimulate the perception of the axis of the body and of the two hemispheres.

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Depression

 

Parkinson’s can be associated to mood disorder which can reach up to depression.

Scarlett proposes activities of cognitive stimulation in the form of games, so the activity becames funny and nice. The games can affect the mood in a positive way. In addition, Scarlett offers to play in pairs and the screen splits in half so that everyone can play in his part of the screen. In this way, you can share the activity and keep a positive relationship.

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Moles Invasion

 

Tap on the 3 types of moles in different ways according to the instructions that appear on the screen.

The person has to use visual scanning skills to find the moles. Then, he or she must analyze the image to determine which mole appears.

Thanks to this game, you stimulate the fine motor skills to tap the moles, but the person is also asked to acivate or inhibit his or her movement: you must not touch the moles with the glasses, you must touch the normal moles once and the moles with helmets twice.

This game offers the chance to play in pairs to share a moment together and keep a positive relationship.

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Shapebox

 

Spot the same shape or color as the model.

To recognize the correct shape or color, the person must use the visual perception in order to identify the objects and analyze them (geometric features and color).

This game allows to play in pairs because the images flow in the middle of the screen and everyone has in his side a button to click when he finds the right shape or color.

In this way, you can share the activity and create a positive competition because the game is fast (10 shapes to find) and so you can make several matches in the same session.

Therefore, you can stimulate cognitive functions and the relationship at the same time.

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So SCARLETT is adapted for people with Parkinson’s

WITH SCARLETT, YOU STIMULATE THE WHOLE OF COGNITIVE FUNCTIONS

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CONCLUSION

In case of Parkinson’s, you can have different symptoms which can be more or less serious. So it is important to adapt and personalize the activities and the therapeutic or familiar support to help the person to rediscover his or her skills or to slow down the cognitive and motor deterioration. Dynseo offers different solutions for people with Parkinson’s: The Rolling Ball (for a motor stimulation) and Scarlett (for a cognitive stimulation).

Thanks to Dynseo, the monitoring of the person with Parkinson’s is not reduced to the physical rehabilitation, but it is also centered on the relationship. When a person is affected by a disease like Parkinson’s, it is very important to remember that before being a patient or a sick person, he or she is a person so the relational aspect is very important.

You can try The Rolling Ball or Scarlett free for 7 days. Then, you can subscribe with different options that we propose.